Japan is testing one of the fastest trains in the world, which should one day connect Tokyo to Nagoya — separated by more than 215 miles — in about 40 minutes.
The train is a maglev, using magnetic levitation that requires the trains float a few inches above the tracks. The train has been tested before, but the public was recently allowed to ride on the first 27 miles of track. Riders stared in wonder at computer screens showing the trains traveling over 500 kilometers per hour, or about 311 miles per hour.
Japan has been at the forefront of bullet train technology, first developing it in the 1960s; the nation currently runs the busiest high-speed rail route in the world, but those trains only travel a tortoise-like 200 m.p.h. California's under-construction high-speed rail, which will connect Los Angeles to San Francisco, will carry passengers at top speeds of about 220 m.p.h.